The limitations of the electric guitar are also the limitations for the composer. Registers, spectrum, resonance, decay: all musical parameters are questioned in the search for a new and unheard sound on the instrument. This research intends to redefine the limits. Not the guitar should be questioned but the instrumentalist playing it, always willing to accept the challenge together with, or via, a guitar maker. Sonic challenges given by composers can, via the performer, result in a variety of modifications to the instrument. The translation of musical ideas written in the conventional musical notation into constructional recommendations for the instrument makes the guitar a fluid, amorphous actor. The triunity composer-guitarist-guitar builder becomes responsible for the improvement of the in-depth understanding of the possibilities of the instrument.
João Carlos Ferreira de Miranda Santos
I would like to investigate what are the philosophical and practical consequences a reappraisal of the 17th-and 18th-century concept of taste may have for general and historical performance practice. Often in primary literature, authors appeal to the necessity of having taste (or good taste) when explaining what good musical expression is. Our contemporary notions, however, differ considerably from what they meant by taste, and reassessing their older meaning might have interesting consequences for how we understand musical performance, composition and style. Furthermore, they suggest that acquiring taste might endow the artist with a practical methodology, which relates musical expression not only to declamation and theater, but also to the arts, history, philosophy and even politics. But in order to appreciate better this older conception, I would like to link it to other fields of research such as Philosophical Hermeneutics, Dramatic Theory, Cultural Darwinism and the Authenticty Debate.
This research aims to capture notions of musical time such as rhythm and tempo as they were conceived in late eighteenth-century, and how these evolved through the nineteenth century.
I engage with various historical keyboard instruments in correlation with Beethoven’s works considering, beside their purely musical signification, their socio-cultural contexts as well. Under the light of the latter, these instruments become direct interfaces to historical performance practices encompassing past mindsets and human beliefs.
Varying time instead of dynamics in order to shape gestures and/or emphasize certain notes is the principle of agogics. This process is particularly suitable to instruments with no dynamic variability such as the harpsichord or the organ. Knowing that fortepianos coexisted with the other keyboard instruments during decades, the practice of agogics probably persisted despite the early developments of fortepianos. If agogics had been still in practice, how might composers have notated it—if at all? May other signs—to indicate dynamic, articulation and accentuation—encapsulate cues toward recapturing a lively practice of agogics?
Very little Jewish music in notation from before 1620 has come down to us. Next to this, however, a kind of “shadow repertoire” exists – the hundreds of poems by Jewish authors that we know were sung (at least upon occasion) that have survived in text-only form. My proposal is for a research project centered on Jewish poems from Italian sources, and their relation to extant repertoire: both notated music from Early Modern 'Gentile' sources and orally-transmitted song. The goal would be two-fold: an edition, and a series of performances based on the research. The whole would necessarily be complimented by a discussion of the close intertwining of research and creative expression, and its role in Early Music itself, especially when working with the data-poor repertoires typical of populations living outside of the mainstream, including the moral questions involved, especially considering the questions of authenticity or reception by the modern public.